Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Appalachian Studies

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Jane MacMorran

Committee Members

Rebecca Fletcher, Phyllis Thompson


This thesis applies qualitative literary analysis and ethnographic methods to examine the portrayal of Appalachia in the operas Susannah and Cold Mountain. The operas were premiered almost 60 years apart, yet they share many themes that epitomize roles, patterns, and stereotypes within the Appalachian region. One theme observed is the role and expectations of Appalachian women and how they have developed over time, as the plots are placed roughly a century apart. The depictions of Appalachian religious traditions and representations of violence are also explored as these themes play a considerable role in Susannah and Cold Mountain. By analyzing the representation of Appalachia in these operas, this study places the significance of opera among other forms of media and drama that are evaluated in the field of Appalachian Studies. Susannah and Cold Mountain depict some historically founded representations of Appalachian culture, yet some stereotypes also appear and are evaluated.

Document Type

Thesis - embargo


Copyright by the authors.

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